Match of the Day U-turn?! Gary Lineker set to return as host of flagship show following social media controversy

Gary Lineker 2023Getty
  • Lineker suspended amid social media row
  • BBC coverage seriously disrupted
  • Station chief wants Lineker back

WHAT HAPPENED? Lineker could be set to return to Match of the Day after Davie told BBC News that he wants the host to come back. Davie also said the corporation was currently "working very hard to resolve the situation." The BBC had previously confirmed Lineker would step aside from his role after he criticised the government's controversial immigration policy on social media.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "Success for me is getting Gary back on air and together we are giving to the audiences that world-class sports coverage which, as I say, I'm sorry we haven't been able to deliver today," said Davie in an interview.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lineker's suspension plunged the BBC into crisis and affected their football coverage. A host of presenters, including Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, pulled out of programmes in support of Lineker. The show eventually aired without presenters or commentators and ran for just 20 minutes. The BBC also had to axe Football Focus and Final Score and saw their Five Live coverage seriously affected. Sunday's top-of-the-table WSL clash between Chelsea and Manchester United is also being shown without any pre-game presentation on BBC Two.


Tim Davie BBCGettyGary LinekerGettyGary LinekerGetty

WHAT NEXT? The disruption to the BBC's coverage is likely to continue on Sunday. It's unclear yet if Match of the Day 2 will run as scheduled. The station is also due to show the top-of-the-table clash between Manchester United and Chelsea in the Women's Super League.

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